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Pharmaceuticals

India, Pfizer set up center to fight antimicrobial resistance

by K. V. Venkatasubramanian, special to C&EN
February 19, 2018 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 96, ISSUE 8

The Indian Council of Medical Research and the pharmaceutical giant Pfizer are establishing a center in New Delhi to combat the growing threat of antimicrobial resistance. India has among the highest rates of antibiotic consumption and antimicrobial resistance in the world. Reasons for those rates include over-the-counter pharmacy sales and a market flooded with unregulated drugs. One recent study of Indian antibiotic sales data and regulatory records from 2007 to 2012 found that 64% of one class of antibiotic formulations had no record of regulatory approval (Br. J. Clin. Pharmacol. 2018, DOI: 10.1111/bcp.13503). People taking antibiotics for viral infections or antibiotics that don’t work for the microorganism causing the problem “just helps to select out resistant bacteria that then spread around,” says Patricia McGettigan of Queen Mary University of London, the lead author of the study. Pfizer has provided an initial grant of about $1.09 million for the new center, which will focus on efforts such as scaling up an existing antimicrobial resistance surveillance network and creating awareness around responsible use of antibiotics.

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